SAVANNAH, Ga., Aug. 25 (UPI) — Researchers say it may be months before they can determine why a pygmy sperm whale washed ashore on Tybee Island in Georgia this week.
The whale was alive when beachgoers found it Sunday, wildlife officials said, but seemed to be ill and with little chance of surviving, it was euthanized.
A necropsy is being conducted.
“Results will take months to get back,” biologist Clay George of the state Department of Natural Resources told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “In most cases, we don’t get anything conclusive. Quite often the cause of death goes down as undetermined.”
Not much is known about pygmy sperm whales, he said, and rescuers have little to go on when trying to care for one found stranded.
“No one has figured out how to replicate their habitat,” George said. “They tend to die very shortly after being put into rehabilitation.”